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Author Topic: "Hi, How Are You" info  (Read 7392 times)
s.mercer
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« on: November 09, 2005, 06:02:24 PM »

Hi.  First posts are always kind of awkward, especially when you start the thread yourself, so I'll just get right to the point...

I'm a record collector looking for information about Daniel Johnston's "Hi, How Are You" album.  The copy I have (pictured below) is (supposably) from an original homemade batch made in 1983.  I'm specifically interested in information regarding the rarity of this cassette (i.e. how many of these were originally made, how common, if at all, they are to come by today) and/or any other interesting informtion I can store with this item.  Also, I would like a few "educated" second opinions to verify that my copy is indeed a 1983 original.  Thanks in advance!





I have editted the scan of the insert to cover an address & phone number.
I'm quite impressed with this website and the wealth of information here.  It's nice to see such a dedicated following for such a great artist.  Thanks again for any information you can offer!
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notdaniel
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« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2005, 08:03:31 AM »

Hi.á First posts are always kind of awkward, especially when you start the thread yourself, so I'll just get right to the point...

I'm a record collector looking for information about Daniel Johnston's "Hi, How Are You" album.á The copy I have  is (supposably) from an original homemade batch made in 1983.á I'm specifically interested in information regarding the rarity of this cassette (i.e. how many of these were originally made, how common, if at all, they are to come by today) and/or any other interesting informtion I can store with this item.á Also, I would like a few "educated" second opinions to verify that my copy is indeed a 1983 original.á I have edited the scan of the insert to cover an address & phone number.

You needn't have covered the info in question - Stress Records is the "record company" which has long distributed the cassettes (of course, that info is probably out of date now, so maybe it is best you covered it up). Seeing the Stress label is actually a bit confusing to me - apart from that, the tape you show definitely appears to be an original copy from the early days. That's Dan's tape brand of choice (Concertape) and his handwriting on the actual cassette (you can always tell by his capital "E"s which look like backwards "3"s). Note: it is not a "1983 original" though, because the material was RECORDED in 1983 but to the best of my knowledge that particular tape wouldn't have been handed out until 1985 or '86.

The case, though, should have a little note about the boxer Joe Louis inside (where that Stress label is instead). Mr. Stress himself, Jeff Tartakov, should spot your message eventually and he can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm guessing this copy would have to be one of the very first ones that Jeff had a hand in, before he started writing the info on the labels for Dan and before he started buying white shell cassettes in bulk.

Either that or you have an early tape and a slightly later case which don't actually belong together.

As far as rarity, well, as I said, it's one of Dan's hand-signed tapes, and it seems to be in decent shape. They're certainly not "common" because they were the result of a one-man operation (or two). The glue Dan used rotted away many of the covers, especially in the Texas heat, and in general the tapes weren't made to last, nor did many people think ahead far enough to try and preserve them. I have seen occasional copies with covers that look about as good as yours, but I've seen more that had only a few brown chunks of paper left still attached to the plastic case.

I'd love to know a "market value" myself, but I've never actually seen one listed for sale or run across a suggested price. (The ultimate would be one with a hand-DRAWN, rather than merely hand-COPIED & CUT cover, but I have never seen one of those for "Hi How Are You" specifically - I have completely hand-made tapes of "Songs of Pain", [a prototype of] "More Songs of Pain", "Don't Be Scared" and "The What of Whom" but I've only ever seen photocopied copies of "HHAY" and "Yip! Jump Music" onward. One novelty: I also have a "two-for-one" special of those last two, with the covers shrunk and both tapes scrunched onto a 90 minute Concertape. I'm pretty sure that VERY few of those were made!

Anyhow, your copy is definitely early enough to count as "historically valuable". At least the tape part is, and probably the case as well - do you have any evidence that the two aren't mismatched?

  - Not Daniel
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s.mercer
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« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2005, 03:04:23 PM »

Unfortunately I don't know much about my particular cassette's history, so I can't say that I have any evidence that the cassette itself and the case are mismatched.  Like you said, perhaps Mr. Tartakov could shed further light on this mystery.

For some reason I never obtained a background on the cassette from the guy I got it from. If I'm not mistaken he was from Texas, which, if I remember correctly, means the cassette never made it very far from its origin.

As for "market value," I'm not sure what I would quote this item at, but nor am I interested in its monetary value - my inquiries are purely for my own records as well as to find out how "special" this item is, rather than how much it's worth.  I'm certain I got a hell of a deal though - I bought it for only $10.  Market value can be a very difficult thing to determine anymore, especially with the popularity of eBay, which has inflated many item's assumed "market value" due to highly competitive bidding.  If someone can get away with selling something for $100 you can bet the next guy will be asking for $110 & so on.  Thus I usually just tell people "it's worth whatever you can get for it."

Thank you very much for the information.  It is very much appreciated.  Hopefully Mr. Tartakov can provide a further explanation of the tape/case discrepancies & provide a more exact date of its creation.
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Stress Records
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2005, 09:08:11 PM »

The case can be no earlier than spring 1986 as that's when I started working with Daniel as his publicist.  It would appear that the information crossed out contains my phone number which makes me think this was made by Daniel in 1986 as a promo to hand out, perhaps to critics and musicians (as opposed to the tapes he gave out to pretty girls?). I can't imagine why else it would include my phone number.

My best guess as to the number of these tapes in existence is anywhere between a few dozen and couple of hundred.  I'm sorry I can't be more specific. Daniel was handing out many many tapes in those days but the phone number definitely marks this one as a promo. Hope that helps.

Jeff
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s.mercer
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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2005, 12:16:38 AM »

Hope that helps.
It certainly does.  This is exactly the sort of information I was searching for.  Thank you both very much once again for your help.
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